Of course, adding to the intrigue since YES launched in 2002 and SNY in 2006 is that every announcer is viewed through the prism of team-owned TV stations, especially during tough times. So far SNY has an admirable record of objectivity, a sensitive subject at Shea since Willie Randolph's infamous shot at its camera shot selection last month.Best then quotes Michael Kay who noted on his radio show the other day how much trouble he'd be in with the Yankees if he said half the stuff Keith Hernandez and Ron Darling said. Which is sad, of course, because fans aren't idiots. Especially New York fans who are exposed to more team news and information than anyone. They know when their team is playing poorly. They know when there is clubhouse unrest. They know when scandal is afoot. Against that backdrop, a team forcing its announcers to play Pravda to the ownership's Politburo is silly and, frankly, insulting to the intelligence of fans.
But it's complicated. Here is GM Omar Minaya during a visit to the booth Wednesday: "All of us are together in this. I know that Ron, you care; I know that Gary, you care. I know the radio guys . We are all in this as New Yorkers, and we want this to happen."
In this together? Like I said, SNY mostly has avoided that trap. Or taken a sledgehammer to it.
With the exception of Willie Randolph's recent complaints about camera angles, the Mets have been pretty good at biting their tongue. Is that because they understand the value of an independent and honest broadcast operation? Is it because they don't want to be seen cracking down on team icons like Darling and Hernandez?
I suppose we can't know that, but it probably doesn't matter. All that matters is that, for now, Mets fans are getting the unvarnished truth. That may make the Mets look bad in any given moment, but it makes them look much better overall.